How to show managing-leadership capabilities in the interview

Case Interview leadership and development management consulting
Recent activity on Mar 19, 2018
3 Answers
3.5 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Mar 18, 2018

Hi All,

on the final interview I was asked 'managing-leadership capability' questions: how do I deal with conflict at work, how do I manage project(s) (including several projects at a time), experience about working with cross-function teams. Feedback was that I was not convincing / my examples were not good ...

Can anyone suggest some kind of structure, how to answer this kind of questions to be more convincing and make better impression.



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Sara replied on Mar 19, 2018
Interviewing for McKinsey and A.T. Kearney

Hi! I don't know if you are familiar with the STAR approach, but it is always a good base for any situational question. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result - it is pretty self-explanatory. Putting that framework more in line with your context of managing-leadership skills, I would answer the question by quickly describing the nature of the project and the diversity of the team, the conflict that arouse (or could have), and then how you dealt/fixed it. I just want to add that although consulting firms value team players, in these type of personal-interview questions they also want to hear about YOUR achievements, so make sure you let them know how YOU behaved as a leader. Hope this was helpful and good luck!

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replied on Mar 19, 2018

Hey anonymous,

An alternative method to the one suggested is to use the McK famous SCR (Situarion, Comolication, Resolution), as this is what we use in real projects, interviewers will be very familiar with it and like it (personally I tend to use both this and STAR, with the advantage that this one doesn’t have the task part, which I find often annoying and repetitive in STAR)

To be me complete you can add the last piece of the the STAR,ie, the results piece.



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replied on Mar 19, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


Agree with Sara, the best approach is the following:

  1. Start with a project / job description and provide the context
  2. Then provide the particular details of the situation: Who was involved and what was exactly the problem
  3. Continue with a list of actions you took - Actions should be very specific and the interviewer should have no doubts that these actions really took place. Thus you should demonstrate the use the real-life tools that give the results. With my students, I develop these sets of tools for their stories.
  4. Finish with a measurable impact as a result of your actions

Go through each story and think of the additional questions the interviewer may ask. It’s important since additional questions will take up to 50% of the FIT interview. Try to remember the main details and facts and make sure that you know how to explain the key concepts quickly. Test your stories with your friends, ideally consultants, and ask for their feedback. There can be multiple groups of additional questions:

  • The interviewer may be interested in details about the context
  • He may want to check whether this was your effort or more sort of a team effort.
  • “Have you faced any difficulties while implementing your solution?”- Typically an interviewer would like you to tell him how you’ve overcome those difficulties.
  • Your interviewer will check how real your story is. You should be ready to provide even more granular actions, key milestones and a breakdown of potential effects.


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